Matt Hall has probably heard Dolderer's result... he'll have that in his sights as he goes for a fast but solid run...
But it's not a good start for Hall... Gate 6 catches him out! Maximum G for going over 12G and it's a DNF for the Australian. He's furious!
Hall drops into 9th.
Maybe a lesson learned ahead of tomorrow's racing?
Czech pilot Petr Kopfstein next up.
Kopfstein has great discipline... he's got into the 53s in practice
Kopfstein looking on great form out there, but the pace isn't quite matching up to Dolderer's top time, he's 1.5s off the pace and just not getting the speed in the last few gates.
Kopfstein 54.336, placing him in 5th place overall so far.
Kopfstein'll be looking for a solid performance today, but again the call to knock it off comes, Petr Kopfstein's second run comes to an early end and heads back to the airport with a current placing of 5th overall.
Lots of over-G here in Abu Dhabi... the remaining pilots will be getting the message and it'll be interesting to see how the different gameplans will play out.
Middle of the field isn't such a bad placing for the racing heats tomorrow... currently Matt Hall has the toughest job so far, with his DNF result pitching him against the fastest pilot.
Chambliss, McLeod, Sonka and Muroya still to fly.
Chambliss hasn't touched 52s yet in free practice, but he's pretty fearless and has a raceplane capable of a really fast performance.
Chambliss off to a GREAT start... flying through the track and keeping it solid and simple, but the numbers aren't adding up, as the splits go RED RED RED across the board and Dolderer's race plane maintaining the lead.
McLeod looking fitter and focused this season... a really impressive lap so far from the Canadian, but he's picked up 2+s on an otherwise blistering run
That over-G at Gate 6 is proving to be a real sticking point. McLeod in 10th place overall so far. Without that penalty mcLeod would be looking to a top 5 place.
McLeod returns for a second run in the track... cleared into the track and he needs to make it up in this turn... it's looking green in the splits and McLeod retaining his composure with tight turns and blistering pace... he's not far off Dolderer's pace...
McLeod told to knock it off for exceeding Max G!
McLeod will have to make do with a 10th place overall so far. That'll pitch him against some of the fastest flyers tomorrow.
We saw Sonka warming up earlier... the pilot is in great shape and is returning off the back of a podium finish at the World Championship last year. But it's a new season and Sonka will be back to grab that top step podium finish...
Sonka playing it safe, getting a good, penalty-free run in there and some timings on the board. Smooth but conservative, he's only placed 8th overall with 54.420
A great run for Sonka, more fight and more pace there.
He edges up the rankings to 6th overall
Yoshihide Muroya last to head into the track for Qualifying... last year's World Champion is back to retain his title!
He's definitely upped the pace, and Muroya is taking a typically disciplined approach and although the pace isn't matching Dolderer's, it's a great run for the Japanese pilot and we're set to see a much better result.
3rd place overall.
So a quick recap of Qualifying... here's what you need to know:
- Matthias Dolderer took the top spot
- Matt Hall failed to clock a time, earning only a DNF result and a head-to-heat with Dolderer in the heats tomorrow
- 2017 World Champion Muroya took a third place finish, and looks set to grab his best Abu Dhabi result yet
- Master Class newcomer Ben Murphy took an impressive 9th place finish in Qualifying – definitely one to watch on Race Day!
- It's a Czech head-to-head in the Round of 14, as Sonka and Kopfstein face off!
- Top three: Dolderer, Goulian & Muroya... could Goulian take a podium finish in Abu Dhabi?
PRESS CONFERENCE STARTS IN 15 MINUTES AT 1815 LOCAL TIME
That's all for today but we'll be back with you tomorrow for the first Race Day of 2018! Join us from 1215 local time!
Good morning from a gloriously sunny Abu Dhabi where Race Day is about to kick off!
First up today is the Challenger Cup and here's the startlist: